Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at this length scale. (from National Nanotechnology Initiative)
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Richard Feynman was the first scientist to suggest that devices and materials could someday be fabricated to atomic specifications: "The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom." Later the term nanotechnology was coined. Today nanotechnology is reshaping technology. A short History of Nanotechnology from the Foresight Institute.